- Twisters, the sequel to the cult favorite film Twister, promises to bring back the same thrilling action and immersive experience with a new story and cast of characters.
- The original director of Twister suggests that the practical filmmaking style of the original may not be replicated in the sequel, but remains open-minded about a new approach.
- The confirmed cast and production details for Twisters indicate that the sequel has high-profile backing and a lot riding on its success, with a release date set for July 19, 2024.
Twisters, the sequel to the 1996 disaster epic Twister, will follow a new story and cast of characters but promises to bring back some of that good, old dusty action. Despite numerous other disaster movies following Twister, the Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt-led movie remains to be a cult favorite. As its title suggests, the narrative is set against a severe outbreak of dust storms and tornadoes in Oklahoma. Arriving at the scene is a team of passionate storm chasers who wish to deploy a research device. With its technical aspects earning immense praise, Twister also earned Oscar nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound.
The Twister sequel was greenlit after more than two decades since the orignal’s 1997 release. The earliest plans for Twisters materialized in 2020 with Universal Pictures talking to Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick) about directing. A year later, Helen Hunt volunteered to write and direct the sequel. However, these plans were later shelved in 2022 when a legacy sequel was planned instead with Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) serving as its writer. Steven Spielberg is reported to have liked Smith’s screenplay so much that Twisters gained Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment as one of the production studios. With Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung now directing Twisters, the sequel has a lot to offer.
Twisters Latest News
The latest Twister sequel news comes from the director of the original movie who offers his interesting take on the new approach. When asked about his opinion, Jan de Bont’s response to Twisters was a thoughtful one that is neither excited nor dismissive of the new sequel. First, de Bont began by insisting the filmmaking style that helped make Twister so successful in 1997 is now part of a bygone era. He explained that “When things fell from the sky, there were real things falling from a helicopter. If you film a car escaping a tornado in a hail storm, it was real ice that came at us.” However, de Bont is skeptical a modern studio would allow for such things, insisting that it “would never, ever happen again.”
When asked about whether he plans to see the Twister sequel when it comes out, de Bont suggested that “I want to have somebody else see [Twisters] first.” While he is uncertain about what the new movie will be, he admitted that he could be surprised by a new approach and pointed to the recent success of Barbie as a somewhat optimistic outlook. He suggested “that’s the same with [Greta Gerwig] of Barbie. Nobody would ever have thought she’d direct that movie and make it so successful.”
Overall, it is hard to argue with what de Bont has to say about Twisters as he takes a realistic yet open-minded approach. The practical feel of the original Twister did make for an immersive experience that felt like the audience was in the middle of these violent storms. Completely replacing that style of filmmaking with an overreliance on green screens and CGI could rob the sequel of that excitement. However, while the comparison to Barbie may be wishful thinking, de Bont is right to point out that a new approach could be taken to make Twisters something special and create a worthwhile sequel.
Despite the Twister sequel taking a long time to happen, the confirmation for what would be Twisters came only around October 2022. This was when Universal Pictures also confirmed that Mark L. Smith would be attached as the screenwriter, although the director wasn’t finalized. Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Dan Trachtenberg, and Travis Knight were some of the potential director candidates before the project finally settled on Lee Isaac Chung in December 2022. The Twister sequel is also confirmed to be a joint venture production between Universal, Amblin, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Kennedy/Marshall Company. With such high-profile companies backing it, a lot is riding on Twisters.
Twisters Release Date
Deadline reports that the Twister sequel release date set for July 19, 2024 however that may be delayed. With principal photography for Twisters commencing in Oklahoma City in May 2023, filming was expected to wrap up by July (as per Oklahoma City-based TV station KWTV-DT) but was suspended due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Universal will be handling the movie’s American release while the international distribution will be handled by Warner Bros.
Daisy Edgar-Jones and Glen Powell will be leading the Twister 2 cast, marking their first time working with Lee Isaac Chung. While Edgar-Jones broke out as a TV star with her Golden Globe-nominated performance in Normal People, she also proved her potential as a film lead with the 2022 thriller Where the Crawdads Sing. Even though the movie earned mixed reviews, Edgar-Jones’s performance mostly drew critical acclaim. As for Powell, he has been having a busy project schedule since his performance as the pilot Hangman in Top Gun: Maverick. Twisters is one of his most high-profile projects along with his untitled rom-com with Sydney Sweeney.
Even though Edgar-Jones and Powell’s roles haven’t been revealed yet, the actress might have been roped in as the daughter of Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton’s characters from the original Twister. Owing to Paxton’s untimely demise in 2017, it is certain that his character, Bill, will not return. As for Helen Hunt returning in Twisters, the Oscar winner’s inclusion in the cast hasn’t been confirmed yet. The all-new ensemble for the Twister sequel is still heavily star-studded with some of the names including Anthony Ramos (In The Heights, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts), Brandon Perea (The OA, Nope), and Daryl McCormack (Peaky Blinders, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande).
Ramos and Perea’s casting seems all the more relevant given their last films (Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Nope, respectively) were big-budget studio hits. Perea’s character in Nope even chases an alien spacecraft disguised in a mysterious cloud, much like the protagonists of Twister chasing tornadoes. Other cast members attached to Twisters are Maura Tierney (ER, The Affair), Harry Hadden-Paton (Downton Abbey, The Crown), Sasha Lane (Loki, How to Blow Up a Pipeline), Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Nik Dodani (Atypical, Dear Evan Hensen), David Corenswet (The Politician, Pearl), Tunde Adebimpe (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Idol) and Katy O’Brian (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Mandalorian).
Twisters Story Details
Twisters story will serve more as a legacy sequel than a direct follow-up. However, what connects the original and the Twister sequel is the heroine who is expected to be the daughter of storm-chasers Jo Thornton and Bill Harding. By the end of Twister, Jo and Bill reconcile and are bound to continue their relationship. To focus on their daughter’s adult life, the Twisters story will naturally be set decades after the first movie. And given the title, this new heroine has to be another storm-chaser obsessed with twisters like her parents. As Bill in Twister aimed to deploy more advanced tornado-detection methods, the Twisters protagonist might walk in his footsteps.
To fuel some character conflict, the Twisters story might also delve into a slightly troubled bond that the lead character shares with her parents. Even if she’s unwilling to drive toward and study tornadoes, her circumstances might as well turn her into a proficient storm-chaser by the end of the movie. Lee Isaac Chung has already proven his prowess in directing impactful family-driven stories before with Minari and his debut feature, Munyurangabo. Glen Powell’s character is again unspecified, but he most likely will play a fellow storm-chaser to compete with the protagonist. Powell already shone in a similar role as Miles Tellers’ on-screen rival Hangman in Top Gun: Maverick.
While Twister primarily dealt with an outbreak in Oklahoma, Twisters might up the scales with a wider network of tornadoes across even more territories. Despite the increased challenges and new characters, Twisters can add some deliberate nods to the original in its story to win over nostalgic fans. If the resounding box-office success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the Jurassic World series, and Top Gun: Maverick has proven anything, it is that legacy sequels can win over both new and nostalgic audiences if done right. Hopefully, Mark L. Smith’s screenplay for Twisters will help in achieving this balance with a story that is as fast-paced as its source material.